I felt so lucky this week, I bought a lottery ticket. We met with John’s Doctor before his chemo infusion on Wednesday. As she reviewed his recent PET scan, she noted the metastasis’ on his bones along the spine were no longer showing up on the scan. Additionally, he had no new growth and the tumor in his lung is ‘quiet’. I think we both had the same deer in the headlights, shocked look as we did when he originally was diagnosed. I can attest to experiencing a dissonance of sorts. Sometimes, good news is as disorienting and hard to wrap my brain around as other news. In fact, after a day of basking in this news, John wakes up on Thursday morning and asks me, “now what does all that mean?”.
On the one hand, this is GREAT and fabulous news. This means the chemo is doing its job. Right now, John has fewer active C________ cells rummaging through his otherwise healthy body. This news fully aligns with how he has appeared to look like he’s been feeling better lately.
On the other hand, his tumor is still present. The bronchial pathology reports came back with an Adenocarcinoma confirmation and an ALK mutation. This type of mutation rearrangement is present in 5-7% of lung cancer warriors, who are typically younger individuals with no to little smoking histories. John’s Doctor wants to begin CT scans in a few weeks to calibrate and measure the tumor, thus monitoring it for depletion or growth. The genetic mutation opens up some future treatment options. I’m cautiously optimistic….
I know his lung still harbors the C_____ word. Yet, there is a part of me that is turning cartwheels of joy at this awesome news. I’ll ride this wave of good news as long as I can. And seriously, John’s looking and feeling (relatively) good could not have come at a better time – we have packing and moving to do!